When Boston College women’s hockey faced St. Lawrence University in the 2017 NCAA Quarterfinals last season, the team took home a solid six-goal victory, leaving the Saints in the dust. The Saints had clearly not forgotten about this devastating loss, as they upset the Eagles Friday night with a nail-biting 2-1 victory.
The No. 2 Eagles (8-1-1, 4-1-1 Hockey East) dominated possession in the opening minutes of the first period, and the game seemed promising. With shot after shot on goal, the Eagles seemed to have control of the game in their hands. In the eighth minute, however, BC sophomore Delaney Belinskas was hit with a penalty for hooking.
Nine minutes into the first period, No. 8 SLU’s (6-3-2, 4-1-0 ECAC) Hannah Miller took full advantage of this power play. Miller skated up the rink at speed with the puck into BC’s defensive zone, ripping a shot from the side at an odd angle. The puck deflected off an Eagle player and found itself in the back of the net coming off a weird bounce.
The Saints rushed to join Miller in celebration, overcome with both glee and surprise as their payback for the previous year’s dismantling began. As the first period progressed, BC started to formulate a more promising offense, forcing SLU goalkeeper Sonjia Shelly to make save after save.
With the first period coming to an end, a penalty called against the Saints resulted in a confusing misperception for the Eagles. Having thought that the penalty was already called and expecting a power play, BC pulled its goalkeeper and sent another player on the ice. This process began too early, however, and the Eagles were given a penalty for having too many players on the ice. As a result, both teams played down for the remainder of the power plays.
Despite out-shooting the Saints by four goals in the first period, the Eagles were unable to equalize. Entering the second period, BC had a hard time maintaining possession of the puck. In the fifth minute, they almost converted, creating a goal-scoring opportunity saved by Shelly. SLU responded with a fierce counterattack as Kennedy Marchment scored her fifth goal of the season after receiving an assist from Jaimee Cooke. Marchment sent a wrist shot to the net’s top corner, zipping past BC goalkeeper Katie Burt.
Although the Eagles had three power-play opportunities to score, the Saints managed to kill each of them. Despite out-shooting SLU through the second period by twelve shots, the Eagles simply could not convert.
BC finally found offensive success early in the third period through junior Makenna Newkirk. Receiving an assist from Erin Connolly and Bridget McCarthy, Newkirk scored her fourth goal of the season and gave the Eagles a ray of hope. The Saints, however, responded with hard offensive pressure, asserting their hunger for one final goal.
With just one minute to go, BC tried desperately to reclaim the game, pulling Burt out of the goal to have six skaters on the rink. The Eagles kept possession of the puck in the Saints’ defensive zone, but were unable to convert.
Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff